How Wood Smoke is Dirtying the Countries air.
The EPA instructs people to determine visibility to determine pm2.5 conc if you live away from an EPA monitor. That is most people. Go to NH Visibility Map and study it for a few weeks in winter. I see 10 mile visibility, 24 hr ave. EPA approved conversion tables used in Colorado and Arizona and other states convert to 42 mcg/m3 pm2.5, 24 hr ave. 50% is from wood smoke pm2.5 more or less. This is 5 times more toxic than pm2.5 from mixed pm2.5, historically from oil and gas. It is toxicologically equivalent to about 100 mcg/m3 mixed pm2.5. The total pm2.5 is equal to about 120 mcg/m3 to compare to the NAAQS std of 35 mcg/m3. That is how woodburning is illegally violating constitutional rights to life, health and safety. It is worse in Alaska but none of the politicians can figure out the science.
Even pellet stoves are unsafe. EPA modeling puts the pm2.5 from a new pellet stove burnng hardwood at 7 mcg/m3 but NESCAUM scientists write that softwood results in 2 to 4 times more pm2.5. That is 21 mcg/m3 pm2.5, 24 hr ave. Background pm2.5 is about 42 mcg/m3 or more so the total pm2.5 is63 mcg/m3 on average in my state Maine and most states. If 2 neighbors burn wood with pellet stoves, pm2.5 is 84 mcg/m3. The pellet pm2.5 is equivalent to about 200 mcg/m3 to compare to the NAAQS std of 35 mcg/m3. OOPS ! This is my neighborhood in Waterville ME, a college town.
I have just been diagnosed with early cataracts and smoke is widely said to be a causative agent for seniors like me. I keep trying to get legal help but all the lawyers do not understand the science at all and will not help. In fact, most are working for the pellet industry and stove industry and lobbying the state legislature and congress very effectively but they are lying the law and causing a crisis. Carbon Neutral, legal per U.S, government, will save 50% or more on your heating bill. No one is even checking the pm concentrations, just using BACT. But if BACT or best control tech exceeds safety guidelines it is unsafe, so illegal and must be stopped and prevented per DHHS Essential Services policy and the constitution which references English common law which has said for centuries that “Safety is the Supreme Law”.
It looks like I will have to sue by myself. Since RAWSEP is an organization I loosely belong to, I wonder if you could help by testifying by affidavit? I am trying to get legal help for free or at reduced rates for limited help but so far have no help. The formula I have used in the past has been: Lawyers letter, Doctors letter, Witness letter. It has gotten settlements out of court twice out of two tries for owb’s, iwb’s and old stoves. I may have to sue the city or state though to really have an impact.
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